Central Queensland firefighters are preparing for a busy day fighting bushfires given the region’s ‘severe’ fire rating. (Photo by SAEED KHAN / AFP)
Central Queensland firefighters are preparing for a busy day fighting bushfires given the region’s ‘severe’ fire rating. (Photo by SAEED KHAN / AFP)

Severe bushfire threat to CQ leads to fire bans

A SEVERE bushfire rating for Capricornia has prompted Queensland Fire and Emergency Services to issue a local fire ban throughout the Central Region from 10am today.

Local governments areas including Central Highlands, Woorabinda, Banana, Gladstone, Livingstone, Rockhampton, Mackay, Isaac, Whitsunday, Barcoo, Barcaldine, Longreach, Blackall-Tambo, Winton and Isisford were included in the ban.

"Heightened fire conditions are perfect for bushfires to ignite and spread quickly," a QFES spokesperson said.

BUSHFIRE THREAT: Saturday's fire danger rating has Capricornia and areas along the east coast in the 'severe' category for bushfires.
BUSHFIRE THREAT: Saturday's fire danger rating has Capricornia and areas along the east coast in the 'severe' category for bushfires.

"Under a local fire ban all open fires are prohibited and all Permits to Light Fire which have been issued in the designated areas have been cancelled.

"Power tools may be used during a local fire ban however QFES encourages people to use these with extreme care and ensure adequate equipment is available to extinguish any fire which may start.

"This may include having a person available to watch out for any ignitions that occur."

The ban will remain in place until 11.59pm on Monday, November 11.

With a number of fires burning throughout Queensland, police are reminding motorists to limit unnecessary travel and keep roads clear for emergency services.

"Fires by their very nature are unpredictable and motorists travelling through active bushfire areas could easily find themselves in quickly changing and dangerous situations," QPS said.

"If you live near an active bushfire area please limit all non-essential travel and rethink your need to be on the roads.

"Driving conditions can be dangerous due to hazards such as burnt out trees over road ways, fallen power lines, smoke and dust. Please remain vigilant."

QPS said emergency services were working together to return affected residents to their homes however this can only occur when the risk of fire has been mitigated.

"This is a timely reminder to be ready to follow your bushfire survival plan. If you do not have a plan, or intend to leave, you should be ready to leave the area because situations can get worse quickly," they said.

"It is important to notify friends and family of your bushfire survival plan. As well as checking on your neighbours, in particular the elderly community.

"Call Triple Zero (000) immediately if you believe you are under threat."

The Queensland Department of Environment and Science have issued an immediate statewide fire ban for all national parks and forests.

"Due to the current fire situation all Queensland national parks and forests now have fire restrictions in place until conditions ease," DES said.

"This means no open fires in any park, anywhere in the state, regardless of the local fire danger.

"The restriction is in place to ease pressures on the state's firefighting resources, which are stretched to capacity including in response to the worsening situation in New South Wales."

The DES said they would appreciate the public's help by being aware of the fire risk and respecting the fire ban so we can focus on protecting people, wildlife and property.

"Rangers will be closely monitoring conditions and park closures will be considered as needed," they said.

"Before leaving home, visitors should check QPWS park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

"Also check current weather warning and conditions at the Bureau of Meteorology and the Queensland Fire and Emergency website for the latest information on fire bans.

"Visitors should observe all signage, barriers and directions from rangers, and should not enter closed areas.

"QPWS has carried out a large number of controlled burns in recent months to reduce fuel loads, train staff and co-ordinate efforts across multiple agencies."

 

If you see a suspicious fire, immediately call 000 for emergency assistance.

Information on fire bans and the exemptions that can apply can be found on the RFS website, www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.

For bushfire preparation tips, visit the RFS website: www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/BushFire_Safety

For information about road closures, call 13 19 40 or visit www.qldtraffic.qld.gov.au

If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using the online form 24hrs per day.

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24hrs per day.



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